Culture shock is a feared and negatively thought upon experience for both professional and novice travelers but I say embrace it.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”Merriam Webster Dictionary” link=”http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture%20shock”]
CULTURE SHOCK: A sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or environment without adequate preparation.
The whole idea of traveling around the world is to be “exposed to an alien culture or environment” – to experience the new and unknown. So its natural to be confused, be uncertain and even feel a bit of anxiety.
But this is expected and why culture shock is such a vital aspect of travel.
So you arrive to a strange city in a foreign country on a different continent from your own and once you get some distance from the comfortable confines of the language friendly airport – you realize how excited, maybe nervous and alien you feel.
You look, listen, smell and take in all of this new world around you and feel confused and uncertain of your surroundings. Like a newborn baby.
This is culture shock.
An unavoidable factor of world travel. So welcome it. View culture shock as just another way to #experience a new culture and yourself.
Don’t handle it like a problem, solve it like a puzzle.
Learn how different aspects of this new culture works and embrace it as part of a new skill set or add it to your knowledge bank. Whatever the case, never view culture shock negatively or as an obstacle.
Think of it as a valuable learning experience for a new part of this world and yourself.
With the right mindset and attitude, culture shock can even be an #enlightening highlight of your travels. So embrace it.
[ The featured photo was taken at Tahrir Square in Cairo.]